No More Excuses, 1 Minute of Exercise Enough

No More Excuses, 1 Minute of Exercise Enough No More Excuses, 1 Minute of Exercise Enough

If you put off exercise due to time constraints, then you may need to find another excuse. A new study suggests just 1 minute of vigorous exercise three times weekly can benefit health just as much as longer, conventional endurance training.

Lead author Martin Gibala, professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, and colleagues recently published their findings in the journal PLOS One.

It is no secret that exercise is good for health, reducing the risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions.

The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise each week, or a combination of the two.

However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), less than half of adults in the United States meet these guidelines.

While the reasons for not exercising vary, “lack of time” is one of the most common.

But the new research from Gibala and colleagues challenges this excuse, after finding just short bursts of intense exercise are as beneficial as longer endurance training, reported.

In a previous study, researchers found that sprint interval training (SIT) produced significant health benefits.

This 10-minute training program included three 20-second “all-out” cycle sprints, performed in between 2 minutes of low-intensity cycling. The program also included a 2-minute warm-up and a 3-minute cool down.

“This is a very time-efficient workout strategy. Brief bursts of intense exercise are remarkably effective.”

For the new study, the team compared the SIT program with a moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) program. This 50-minute program included a 2-minute warm-up, followed by 45 minutes of continuous cycling at a moderate pace, and a 3-minute cool down.

At the end of the 12-week training period, researchers found that both the SIT and MICT groups experienced similar health benefits from their exercise regimes, compared with the control group. In detail, both groups showed improvements in cardio respiratory fitness, insulin sensitivity - how the body regulates blood sugar - and levels of mitochondria in skeletal muscle.